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ISM asks Chancellor for targeted income support for musicians

On 10 September, ISM Chief Executive, Deborah Annetts, wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, to encourage him to provide targeted financial support for musicians and other creative workers beyond the end of September.

Under current plans, both the furlough scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme will finish at the end of September.

While parts of the creative industries have managed to return, there are others, such as live events, which remain at the beginning of their recovery.

Indeed, only 23% of respondents to the ISM's COVID-19 summer survey were completely or somewhat confident their engagements will have returned to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2021.

The ISM is concerned that the end of these schemes will cause financial hardship for musicians at a time when their professional work has not yet returned in a sustainable way.

As Deborah Annetts stated in the letter, 'We are concerned that current plans will lead to a period in between the income support schemes stopping and opportunities to work for musicians returning in a sustainable manner. This period could be financially disastrous for musicians and force them to look for work outside the sector and harm our economic recovery.

We are asking if you will consider keeping income support for those sectors, such as music, which need a bit more time to return to pre-pandemic levels of activity?'